IFSA | July 14, 2022
Meet Our New Roving Reporters
There’s no one better qualified to share the experiences of U.S. students in new lands than the students themselves. That’s why we’re thrilled to introduce you to our 14 Fall 2022 Work-to-Study Correspondents.
We look forward to hearing from this talented crew as they discover Argentina, Australia, Chile, Cuba, England, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, and Scotland, and share their findings. Look for their words and images on our website, blogs, and social media channels!
Sophie Auvin | Hamilton College | World Politics and Hispanic Studies
Sophie Auvin is studying on the IFSA Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú Partnership program in Lima, Peru.
“I wanted a program which would allow me to experience a country as holistically as possible by studying at a host university and living with a host family. Beyond this, it was important to me that the program had a strong language focus.”
Jason Beeferman | Northwestern University | Journalism & International Studies
Jason is studying on the IFSA Argentine Universities Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“When choosing my abroad program I had a few factors. First, I wanted a total immersion experience. I knew my Spanish was good, but I wanted to make sure that by the time I came back from my abroad experience it was great. So I wanted to look for a place where English was hard to come by. Second, I wanted to challenge myself. Going to Europe seems like a blast—especially because you have the ability to travel to so many different countries in one region. But I wanted to prioritize going to the place that seemed least like the U.S.; I wanted to learn about life from a completely different perspective. South America seemed like it could offer that, given that it’s often forgotten when people think of common abroad and travel experiences. That’s what already excites me so much. And thirdly, I want to live in a place with endless things to see and do. Buenos Aires, with its bustling streets and lively nightlife, seemed like it could offer that. Besides, the relatively close proximity to Patagonia is a big plus.”
Liann BielickiI | Claremont McKenna College | Philosophy, Politics & Economics and Data Science
Liann is studying on the IFSA University of St. Andrews Partnership program in St. Andrews, Scotland.
“I have always known that I wanted to study abroad. It seems natural that I should explore the world as I complete my degree, learning through my experiences as well as my classes. I chose IFSA University of St. Andrews because I have never visited the UK and I am interested in Scottish history and culture. In particular, I’m really looking forward to St. Andrews’ many traditions! I hope studying abroad will push me out of my comfort zone and help me discover new strengths.”
Fabiola Flores-Salazar | Rice University | Sports Medicine and Exercise Physiology
Fabiola is studying on the IFSA University of Melbourne Partnership program in Melbourne, Australia.
“When looking for a study abroad program, one of the most important aspects was making sure that I would be able to communicate with others in my new community. Communicating effectively and efficiently is critical to understanding others and cultural differences. I also selected a program based in a country that I know teaches and practices sports medicine differently than in thee U.S. This will help me to find the best practices and understand the costs and benefits of differing approaches.”
Juliette Gaggini | Bucknell University | English Literary Studies and Environmental Studies
Juliette is studying on the IFSA University of Cambridge, Pembroke College Partnership program in Cambridge, England.
“After a long process of deciding where I wanted to study abroad, I was able to pick my program based on my interest in studying English. When I realized it was an option to study at a university like Cambridge for a semester, I knew that was what I wanted. After doing some research into the specific college that IFSA is partnered with, Pembroke College, I knew it was where I wanted to apply. I am hopeful to learn a lot during my semester studying English at Pembroke and will likely gain some insight on whether or not I would like to continue my studies in English at a graduate program in England.”
Megan Higgins | Vanderbilt University | Civil Engineering
Megan is studying on the IFSA University College Dublin Partnership program in Dublin, Ireland.
“I have visited Ireland once before, and absolutely loved the beautiful scenery in the countryside, as well as how friendly the people I met were. I only visited for a week, and my family has Irish heritage, so I wanted to spend more time in the country to become further immersed in the culture. I picked UCD because they have a strong engineering program, and their civil engineering department offered several courses that I can get credit for at my university.”
Miles Keaveny | Wesleyan University | Computer Science
Miles is studying on the IFSA University of Sydney Partnership program in Sydney, Australia.
“Picking a study abroad program was a difficult decision because of all the amazing programs offered through IFSA. I have always been interested in Australian culture and have wanted to visit since I was young. Australia is known for its unique wildlife and ecosystems, so as an outdoorsman I wanted to explore the natural world down under. Choosing The University of Sydney was an easy pick for me because it has a fantastic academic program and expansive class offering, which fulfill my major requirements for computer science. Sydney is also one of the most renowned cities in the world with a dense history and fascinating people and places. Additionally, after researching, I found that the University of Sydney is located centrally in Sydney and is known to offer a great social life with lots of fun extracurriculars.”
Serena Munro | Keene State College | Film Production
Serena is studying on the IFSA University of Canterbury Partnership program in Christchurch, New Zealand.
“Through studying abroad, not only am I excited to explore the landscape, but I am also looking forward to the connections I’ll make while I’m there. I can’t wait to immerse myself in Kiwi culture and learn everything there is to learn about New Zealand!”
Grace Powell | Wake Forest University | Philosophy
Grace is studying on the IFSA University of Edinburgh Partnership program in Edinburgh, Scotland.
“I knew that I wanted to study abroad before I even came to college, and it became one of my priorities in terms of what I wanted out of my college experience as a whole. In terms of specific programs, I was looking for a program that would fit my intellectual interests and pursuits while also giving me the freedom to explore my other interests that do not pertain to the classroom. I wanted to be a part of a program that fostered a genuine community of people that desired to grow and learn from an entirely new culture and group of people. In addition, one of my professors at Wake Forest told me that Edinburgh is one of his favorite cities in the world. And everyone I know that is familiar with the university and the city tells me how wonderful everyone is, which makes me all the more excited to make Edinburgh my home for the fall.”
Jenna Simon | Trinity University | International Studies and Spanish
Jenna is studying on the IFSA Argentine Universities Program in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
“I wanted to push myself to travel to a country on a continent I’d never been to before, and to challenge myself with full immersion in culture and language. I have always enjoyed learning about Latin American history, and I recently took an inspiring Latin American literature class. I also love being in nature, so I am looking forward to visiting the iconic, natural wonders of Argentina.”
Michael Varlotta | Oberlin College| Comparative American Studies
Michael is studying on the IFSA Universidad de La Habana Partnership program in Havana, Cuba.
“When asked “If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be?” my answer was always Cuba. My mom is from Costa Rica—all of her family is there and I have lived with them for some time—so I have always had a deep connection and appreciation for Latino culture/history. I have always been drawn to Cuba especially because of its rich diversity, culture, and history of resistance.”
Sophia Wang | Brandeis University | Computer Science
Sophia is studying on the IFSA King’s College London Partnership program in London, England.
“I am passionate about technology, creativity, and assisting others. I picked King’s College London because of the classes in digital humanities that the university offers. Studying at King’s will allow me to gain knowledge about the subject of technology and society. The things I learn will inspire me and allow me to continue being curious and passionate.”
Avni Wadhwani | Mount Holyoke College | Political Science
Avni is studying on the IFSA Chilean Universities Program in Valparaíso, Chile.
“I’ve taken several classes on Latin American politics at school and Chile stood out to me for its unique political history. I wanted to learn more about the student movements that occurred and continue to occur. I also wanted to brush up on my Spanish. Valparaíso in particular is right on the water and has a huge street art and mural scene that I wanted to explore.”
Shelsy Zarate Chavez | Pomona College | Latin American Studies and Science, Technology, and Society
Shelsy is studying on the IFSA Mérida Universities Program in Mérida, Mexico.
“Europe is a very popular place for study abroad and I often felt pressured by mentors and peers to choose a study abroad location (Europe) as far away and new as possible. I agree that study abroad should be a period of growth and exploration, and I am certainly interested in exploring Europe one day, but for my current academic and personal goals, southern Mexico is the destination where I believe I will learn and thrive the most in. My family is Indigenous to southern Mexico, and I grew up with Zapotec culture, but there are so many more Indigenous people, cultures, and influences in southern Mexico that I would be honored to be introduced to and find solidarity with, especially as a daughter of migrants!”